28/01/2007

The Boyfriends

boyfriends

The Boyfriends : S/T (Boobytrap)

Being the very first band ever to play on the new Glastonburry "John Peel Stage" is a true honour and being picked by Morrissey to join him on his European Tour must be a quite revealing experience... Massively praised by UK music press recently, here are The Boyfriends with their first eponym full length, released 3 months ago on Boobytrap. Despite a one-track minded overall feeling, the band succeeds in providing remarkable 80's mancunian style pop, with Martin-Moz-Wallace parodic voice and huge Hook-a-like basslines...romanticism, sophistication, melodrama...

==> The Boyfriends : No Tomorrow

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25/01/2007

The Electric Pop Group

electric

The Electric Pop Group : S/T (No label)

 

This CD cover could be suitable for the next “Best New Act” @ the next “Brit Awards”, a sort of NME hip’ band you’ll need to listen to, well there is some truth in that statement !!  Brit Awards and NME not yet ! But hype almost, and you need to listen to it…of course ! On the menu here naïve guitar pop, candour à gogo and simple-minded lyrics…The contemporary Swedish response to Another Sunny Day

 

-”I’m in Love with a Girl who doesn’t know I exist”! What should I do ?

-“She’s playing with your heart”, “Walk away”!

- I think she’s my “Popgirly”, “the Centre of my Little World”, she’s “Sweeter than the Rest”

-“What’s happened to you my dearest Friend ?”

- I’d like her to “Turn me on” but, frankly speaking, ”I don’t suppose I’ll get a Second Chance”

-“Why can’t you ?”

-“Impossible”

- Do not worry, one day maybe, “Things will be nice” ! Meanwhile, buy this HERE

 

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20/01/2007

The Dreamers (Where is Mr Wright ?)

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One week ago I received a Myspace friend request from a new Anglo/Swedish project called "The Dreamers". I checked it out and first heard a nice women voice on a kind of Bossa Nova song called "A place I know", well, quite good stuff ! Reading a little further I discovered the band members’ names: Sarah Nyberg Pergament (ex Action Biker…fine !) and Kevin Wright. What ? K..e...v..i...n   W...r..:i...g...h...t ? Is this the Twilight Zone ? Well, no, this is the Earth, we're in 2007 and the real Mr Wright, my all-time "él" pop hero, formely known as "Always" is sending ME a friend request !!!

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From all "él records" legendary artists (King of Luxembourg, Would-be-goods, Louis Philippe, Momus, ...), “Always” is, to my eyes, the one who sticked the most to él philosophy : strangeness, lyricism, extreme triviality, fantasy and elegance !!! His 1988 album “Thames Valley Leather Club” is a pure underrated masterpiece, a baroque blend of post punk arty introspection and Postcard-style magical jangly guitars !!!…His recent career as Mr Wright is also a superb accomplishment with several great essays on Le Grand Magistery and Siesta Records (Metropolitan in 2004), the latter enclosing such an instant classic as the delectable “Anna Karina”. More to be announced soon on The Dreamers !!!

==> Always - Amateur Detection (él records -1988) ==> Buy it HERE

==> Mr Wright - Anna Karina (siesta - 2004) ==> Buy it HERE

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16/01/2007

Soda Fountain Rag

sodafountainrag

Soda Fountain Rag : "Qui a besoin d'une voiture ?" (Anorak records)

Happy to see french label Anorak back in action with a collection of brand new releases announced ! And the first of the series is this bitterly charming 5 titles EP by Norwegian act Soda Fountain Rag. Well, not strictly speaking a band, more a one-girl project ! Her name is Ragnhild Hogstad Jordal and she's concocting the utmost thrilling bedroom-pop you could figure out ! All the scores selected here are true smacks, between 60's standards, K records and digital europop, the whole coated with innate qualities of bright songwriting !!! Do not miss this !!!!

==> Soda Fountain Rag : "Who needs a Car"

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14/01/2007

Ananda Shankar

ananda

Ananda Shankar and his Music (EMI India 1975 - Fallout 2006)

 

Ananda (1942-1999) is certainly not the most famous member of the Shankar Family : his uncle Ravi is the best-known Indian instrumentalist-sitarist of all time and his cousin is nobody less than jazz-country-soul singer/songwriter Norah Jones. However, this man maybe was the most innovative, brilliant and visionary Indian musician ever !!! His main achievement is to have broken the traditions and fused western and eastern music, giving it a touch of timeless universality… His very hard to find “India only” 1975 album “Ananda Shankar and his Music” is regarded as his masterpiece. The liner notes say “A dizzying blend of pounding funk beats, sitar, rock guitar, tabla and Moog synthesizer, alongside mellower, classically influenced tunes…a psych-funk classic”. This killer album is at last reedited on Fallout Records and you can’t spend the rest of your life ignoring it… Buy it HERE or HERE

 

==> Ananda Shankar : Dancing Drums

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10/01/2007

Montgolfier Brothers vs Soft Verdict

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The actual reason for which I needed to disinter this 2005’Montgolfier Brothers’ EP from the shelf was a mystery to me until I heard the first chords of song n°2 “Bridestones Revisited”! It’s just the perfect reflection of the following “Les Disques du Crépuscule” video I was hunting yesterday on You Tube :

 

Soft Verdict : “Close Cover” video (1983)

 

22 years between those 2 songs and this purely ironic title “Close Cover”…Roger Quigley vs Wim Mertens…Vespertine vs Crepuscule…What a remarkable unsuspected filiation ! And again, like yesterday, this sweet melancholy deep down in my heart...

 

==> The Montgolfier Brothers : "Bridestones revisited"

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07/01/2007

Roy Moller

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Roy Moller : Speak When I'm Spoken To (Book Club Records - Nov 2006)

Scottish fellow Roy Moller has been a long time faithful Belle and Sebastian collaborator on some Stevie Jackson’s own-penned songs and has also appeared with The Happy Couple recently. We met him for the first time as a solo artist with his great “Maximum Smile” 7” single on the Félicité Single Club in 2003, followed in 2005 by a very limited 8” on Heliotone and a 3 titles 7” EP called “Fermez la bouche” on beloved Pickled Egg label.

Time now for the debut full length, released in November on Aussie label Book Club Records with…Stevie Jackson as co-producer and both B&S members Stevie J. and Bob Kildea also credited as musicians.

The inspiration here is not to be found in any old or recent Scottish scene : melodies, harmonies and choruses are clearly 60’s California Coast influenced, at times also reminiscent of the Kinks… while instrumentation and sounds sometimes send back to good old british psychedelic works. Great job from a very gifted and unconventional artist!! Buy it HERE (couldn’t find it in any mailorder yet)!!

 

==> Roy Moller : Maximum Smile

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04/01/2007

Glitter & Bleep

Glitter

Glitter & Bleep : Joystick Pop (Relax Beat / Cyclo ; Released November 2006)

 

You probably already came across this highly influential "chip music", “lo-tech” or “8-bit pop” thing, with bands like YMCK, Dat Politics or Crystal Castles, grounding on vintage console games’sounds. If you’ve not been caught by the genre yet, well, this is the one for you ! “Joystick Pop” is a project from Relax Beat label (also at the origin of the similar “Boy Playground” comp back in 2003) bringing together very talented acts from the European scene, and it is purely OVERWHELMING !!! You’ll find higgledy-piggledy the ghosts of your son’s Game Boy, The Human League, your first PC aka commodore 64, Depeche Mode’s Speak & Spell and Pacman,... all this wrapped in a very very poppy atmosphere ... Back to your childhood musical feelings !!!

 

Artists featured : Tobiah, The Hardliner, Koro Osanago, Mr Osbyte, T&J, Slabb, Komatrohn, Der Tante Renate

 

==> Komatrohn : Weekend

 

Buy it HERE or HERE

 

Tobiah : "I Love your Music" video

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